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We’re Leading the Way in Thermal Barrier Coatings

We’re Leading the Way in Thermal Barrier Coatings

Honeywell knows thermal barrier coatings (TBC). TBCs are the ultra-thin material systems that protect vital parts from the punishing heat generated by a modern turbine engine. Without them, metal engine parts would literally melt under temperatures that can exceed 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

We pioneered the use of TBCs in aerospace, patented the coating that became the industry standard nearly 25 years ago, and hold more than 45 patents covering leading-edge protective coating, plating and electroplating processes. We have an expansive coatings network, with coating operations in Europe, Asia and North America, including our Center of Excellence in Greer, S.C.

As an engine manufacturer – we’ve built more than 160,000 gas turbine engines – we put our extensive resources to good use by coating vital parts for Honeywell propulsion engines and auxiliary power units.

Because of our unique expertise and reputation for innovation, quality and on-time performance, Honeywell also is a much sought-after supplier of custom TBC services. In fact we’re the only aircraft engine manufacturer to offer advanced coatings as a discrete service to external customers. Unlike other suppliers of coating services, Honeywell applies domain knowledge in turbine manufacturing to enhance and continuously improve our coating capabilities.

Other aircraft engine manufacturers regularly use the Honeywell coating services and we’ve expanded our reach outside the aerospace industry to provide TBCs to manufacturers of other hot-running turbines, like those used in the power generation. We continue to seek new applications in the industrial sector.

The Honeywell Coatings Greenhouse was established to address a growing market for TBCs, inside and outside the aerospace industry. Global coating capacity has not kept up with demand, especially as manufacturers develop gas turbines that run hotter to improve performance, fuel economy and sustainability. We continue to invest heavily to expand our capacity to meet current and anticipated demand for our premier coating services.

Honeywell has experienced huge growth in third-party activity for the greenhouse since its formation in 2017. The bulk of our business comes from the application of the predominant TBC – 7% yttria-stabilized zirconia (7YSZ). As part of a TBC system, 7YSZ is ideal for thermal barrier coatings because it has good thermal shock resistance, phase stability and thermal conductivity.

While we excel in 7YSZ, Honeywell materials scientists and engineers are looking to the future and the next generation of TBCs. As aerospace and industrial turbines evolve, TBCs must keep pace.

We see opportunities to advance the science of thermal barrier coatings and have developed TBCs that are more advanced than 7YSZ. These new low thermal conductivity (Low-k) materials reduce heat-conductivity by one-third, which will deliver a wide range of advantages. In the short term, engineers can use our advanced TBC to keep parts cooler than they would be with 7YSZ. This enables parts to last up to 50% longer in the engine.

In the long run, to take full advantage, designers can design higher performance engines. Our advanced TBC can tolerate temperatures more than 300 degrees hotter than 7YSZ. At those kinds of temperatures, engines could achieve 5-10 percent more power or 1-2 percent better fuel efficiency, saving operators billions of dollars in fuel costs over their products life cycle.

Visit us online to learn more about Honeywell’s expertise in thermal barrier coatings and how we can help you meet your most difficult TBC challenges.

Lea Kiesel
Sr. Director of Coating Solutions for Mechanical Components and Systems
Lea Kiesel joined Honeywell Aerospace in 2003 and has worked in Engineering and Supply Chain Management roles. Kiesel currently serves as the leader of Honeywell’s Aerospace coatings business, managing a business, engineering, and industrialization teams that are responsible in developing coating solutions to large scale production.

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